iTunes not recognizing new CDs

Q: iTunes doesn’t recognise CD’s when I put them in. It holds onto the song lists from the previous CD even when I’ve ejected it a few times and closed the CD drawer with nothing in it. I have to shut down iTunes every time and start from scratch. What do I need to do?

– Katie

A: This problem is usually caused by Windows’ Auto Insert Notification having been disabled by a third-party application.

This most commonly occurs with certain CD burning applications, since Auto Insert Notification can sometimes get in the way of a CD burning process.

As the name implies, Auto Insert Notification is a process within Windows itself that allows it to determine and notify other applications when a new CD has been inserted into your CD-ROM drive. Naturally, this means that when Auto Insert Notification is disabled, iTunes has no way of knowing that you’ve inserted a new CD into your computer’s CD ROM drive, and it continues to show you the data from the previous CD until you cause it to refresh in some other way—in this case by exiting and restarting iTunes.

Often you can work around this problem by ejecting the CD from within iTunes itself, rather than by pressing the eject button on your actual CD-ROM drive.

To do this, simply click on the small eject icon which appears to the left of a CD in your iTunes device list. Since you’re telling iTunes itself to eject the CD, it should be able to refresh its cache properly when you insert a new disc.

Ideally, however, turning on Auto Insert Notification is usually the preferable option. There are a number of ways to do this manually, however these generally involve hacking around in the Windows Registry.